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 Riley Imp

The Riley Imp's chassis featured a 7ft 6in wheelbase, sweeping up over the front axle and under-slung at the rear, duplicating the design  success on the 'Brooklands' six and basically a smaller nippier M.P.H. Percy Rileys 9hp, 1,087cc, twin-camshaft four was an outstanding engine design by any standards,  powering Rileys  in numerous formats until 1957. The car then had bodywork by Stanley Riley,  and at Brooklands J G Parry-Thomas and Reid Railton were  to demonstrate just how adaptable it was. The success of that racer led to a production version, the Speed Model, which soon became known as the Riley  Brooklands Nine. Six-cylinder Brooklands and Riley MPH models followed, and from these Riley developed the next  phase of its 9hp four-cylinder sports cars the Imp. As in the  the MPH, the Riley Imp used a short-wheelbase chassis, of 7 ft 6 in which swept upwards over the front axle and was underslung at the rear, as first used on the Riley Brooklands Six. The engine was upgraded and internally twin SU carburetors and a Scintilla Vertex magneto were options plus the pre-selector gearbox.  Made in limited numbers, it is a rarity today and much sought after.

**Again a model often later copied so do check if purchasing the originals were 1933-5 and  9hp's so not common and one 12/4 conversion survives see list below.If in doubt ask any of the clubs BEFORE purchasing as many newly constructed specials were made by destroying sound Riley saloons. Early specials were made to preserve squished cars or as the result of rampant woodworm in the frame.*Limited car data is included here to allow checking if a real car ie started life as an Imp, still an Imp from Riley register  club data. Data  part masked for security. Any car may be checked by the clubs and if a member often extensive history is known.**

The Imp BXO was sold at Bonhams click here for larger detailed  pics or click here for the Bonhams page . Also on this page ARW/MPA and AAD from Coys sales

Clubs for this model:  The Riley Register,     The Riley Motor Club,    &  those from other countries listed here

Riley Imp in the media:-

click here for a giggle a superb small film of old vs modern, warning health and safety infringements and too short !

Blue Diamond 1935 Imp chassis strip click here and for the painting etc click here

1935 Imp Factory Publicity Photograph sorry not perfect focus
    WX 893* ( 602733 *),      WXW  98* ( 602733 *),

Ex imps JV 3506 photographed competing at Brooklands

Clubs for this model:  The Riley Register,     The Riley Motor Club,    &  those from other countries listed here       

Riley Imps in Newspapers and Magazines :-

 NEW RILEY CAR THE "IMP"-A 9 HP. MODEL A new 9 h.p. car, designated the Imp," is announced by the Riley Company. It is an open two-seater, and is particularly suitable for trials and rallies. The engine 18 of the usual Riley Nine type, with dimensions of 60.3 x 95.2 m.m. cubic capacity of 1,087 c.c., and taxation rating (this year) of £.9—£ll 15s. next year. The wheelbase, however, has been reduced from the standard 8ft. 10in. to 7ft. 6in., and the result is an extremely compact car calculated to give outstanding performance on the, hairpin bends and steep cart-tracks beloved by the trials organiser. At, the same time the car has been designed - for safe high-speed travel on the open road, and its twin carburetter special series engine provides it with a maximum of 70 m.p.h. The brakes, steering, and road holding are well in keeping with the Riley reputation. The price of the " Imp " with pre-selectagear transmission is £325. Coventry Evening Telegraph - Thursday 23 August 1934

  KV9475 June 1934  Ulster Imp in action 1950 @ Brighton. . . love the safety gear ! (Car on dvla still alive)


THAT astonishing Anglo French contest, the Le Mans twenty-four hour race, this year provided an unprecedented series of British successes. Not for the first time, an English car won the Rudge-Whitworth Cup-- the victory this year going to a couple of French men in a six-cylinder Riley-- while sixteen out of the twenty-three cars which finished were British-made. The Riley success stands alone. Six cars started, six finished. They all qualified to run in next year's final of this year's eliminating race. Never in the stirring story of Le Mans has such an achieve ment previously been recorded. When you come to think of it, the Rileys were really marvellous. The two which finished second and third, in regard to sheer speed, were only beaten by a super charged, eight-cylinder Alfa-Romeo of nearly double the engine size and three or four times the price. They properly saw off three other blown Alfas, a huge 4.9-litre supercharged Bugatti, and an assortment of other fast cars. The Rileys, of course, are not supercharged, and they have six-cylinder engines without overhead camshafts. How did they do it How do they get the stamina to withstand twenty-four hours of gruelling road-racing without the slightest sign of tiring The answer lies, I think, in the P.R." head, a cylinder-top in which the overhead valves are arranged in the same way as in a racing-car engine, with two overhead camshafts and a hemispherical combustion space. On the Riley, however, the drive is sim plified, and dead weight is saved by housing the camshafts one on each side of the crank case and operating the valves through push -rods and rockers. The excellent design of the cylinder-head enables a high compression ratio to be used with out pinking," while the engine is tuned to develop its maximum power at a very high rate of revo lutions. Rileys have considerably lightened their chassis and bodies, so that the new Imp model, on which Miss Champneys put up the best performance of any woman in the race, weighs under 14 cwt. A very fine power- weight ratio is thus obtained, and full use is made of it by providing a Wilson-type self-changing gear, by which instantaneous changes-up are always possible. The brakes, adjustable from the driving seat, are of large diameter, and the road-holding and cornering of the car are beyond reproach. The 1100-c.c. and 1500-c.c. Rileys were lapping the Le Mans course at such high speeds that they excelled the performances put up a few years ago by cars such as the 3-litre and 4 ½-litre Bentleys Sebilleau and Delaroche, on their Riley Twelve," covered 2706 kilometres in the twenty-four hours. In 1928, Babe Barnato and Bernard Rubin covered 2669 kilometres on a 4<½-litre Bentley. This shows the progress that has been made in motor-car design in the last six years Even if it be true that the course is faster and easier than it was (which I am inclined to doubt), when the engine sizes of the two cars are taken into account the comparison is, I think, quite fair. As a matter of fact, the biennial cups have only four times been won at higher speeds than that which the Riley averaged so easily. The victors on two occasions were 6 ½-litre Bentleys, while on the other two, supercharged Alfa-Romeos of 2.3-litres capacity took the palm. Before leaving the subject of the Rileys I should like to mention that Miss Dorothy Champneys and Mrs. Petre, who finished thirteenth in the race as a whole, fourth in their class, and were the leading feminine team at the finish, drove Miss Champneys' own Riley Imp," with which she recently won the Ladies' Prize in the Scottish Rally a machine, therefore, that is obviously suitable tor all purposes. Lord de Clifford's car, with which he put up an excellent per formance and qualified for next year's final, was a Rapier Special, I as turned out by Dobson and de Clifford, Ltd., of Staines. Fundamentally a Lagonda, it has a special engine of under 1 100 c.c. (the standard job is just over this mark), and other features which make it eminently suitable for competition work. It averaged over 57 m.p.h., including all stops, for the twenty-four hours. The best performance on formula (which gives the right to try for an award in the final next year) was put up by Roy Eccles's M.G. Magnette," while Aston-Martins and Singers were serious rivals from The Sketch - Wednesday 27 June 1934

Position 2nd Class:- 1½, Number:-27, Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:-Jean Sébilleau,Georges Delaroche Car:- Riley 6/12 MPH Racing Riley, 1½L I6 Laps:-200

Position 3rd Class:- 1½, Number:-28, Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Freddie Dixon,Cyril Paul, Car:- Riley 6/12 MPH Racing Riley, 1 ½L I6 Laps:-199

Position 5th Class:-1.1, Number:-36 Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Alex van der Becke, Kenneth Peacock, Car:-Riley Brooklands Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 195

Position 6th 1.1 Number:- 37 Team:- United Kingdom Riley Motor Company Ltd. Drivers:- Sammy Newsome, Percy Maclure, Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 195

Position 12th Class:-1.1, Number:- 39 Team:- France Jean Trévoux France Jean Trévoux France René Carriére Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 174

Position 13th Class:-1.1, Number:- 38 Team:- Miss Dorothy Champney Drivers:- Dorothy Champney Canada, Kay Petre Car:- Riley Nine Ulster Imp Riley 1.1L I4 Laps:- 172

1935 Riley 9hp Imp Two-seater Sports 
Registration no. WG 3688 Chassis no. 6027496 Engine no. 56020  from Bonhams

1934 Imp  GYM pics from when for sale via Ashridge Motors 2018

Riley Imps in  Films and TV.
1933 Riley Nine Imp in A Letter From Edinburgh, 1950 *in background

August 1934 Riley 9 Ulster Imp © CLIFF JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

  January 1935 Riley Imp © CLIFF JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Coys 2015